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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  June 5, 2015 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT

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06/05/15 06/05/15 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: broadcasting from stanford university in california, this is democracy now! >> we're in an historic drought and that demands unprecedented action. people should realize we're in a new era. the idea of your green grass getting water every day, that is a thing of the past. amy: as california's massive drought worsens, new mandatory water restrictions have just
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gone into effect, requiring residents to cut back water use by 25%. meanwhile, the death toll from india's heat wave has topped 2300, making it the fifth deadliest heat wave on record. we will speak to two leading climate scientists here at stanford. then we go to spain where longtime anti-eviction housing activist ada colau will soon be sworn in as barcelona's first female mayor. >> i think a political changes happening, change in the way politics are done in same but also beyond spain and southern europe and we hope in all of europe. i think what happened in spain is a democratic revolution. the people have spoken. amy: all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!
3:02 pm, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we are broadcasting from stanford, university in california. the u.n. has launched a new $500 million appeal to address worsening humanitarian conditions in iraq. the u.n. humanitarian coordinator for iraq, lise grande, said aid operations are at severe risk without the urgent funds. >> their 77 health clinics and facilities in areas that are starting to close right now. i the end of june, they will all be closed. already, we are facing a decrease in emergency kits that include drinking water, sanitation applies, and food. we are about to stock out of those. that is why we need help. amy: at least 150 people have been killed in an explosion at a gas station in ghana.
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the victims had gathered at the station after being displaced by heavy rain and flooding. new documents from edward snowden show the nsa's warrantless spying expanded under president obama in 2012. the justice department authorized the nsa to tap internet cables without a warrant to seek out foreign hackers. a new study rejects the theory of a pause on global warming over the past 15 years. the national ashanti can atmospheric a administration says an apparent hiatus and rising temperatures likely comes from limits on data from previous eras, and that warming "has in fact been as fast or faster than that seen over the last half of the 20th century." the environmental protection agency has concluded the drilling practice of hydraulic fracturing is mostly safe on the nation's water supply. a multi-year study says there's no evidence fracking has had
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systemic impacts on drinking water resources nationwide. but the epa does say fracking techniques have contaminated water in some cases, and has "the potential to impact drinking water resources." environmental groups say the study overly relied on energy companies' data. concerns over contamination have led to fracking bans in maryland and new york. the personal data of four million federal employees may have been compromised in a major government data breach last year. the fbi says chinese hackers targeted the office of personnel management. it was the largest breach of federal employee records in recent years. former texas governor rick perry has announced his bid for the republican presidential nomination. perry was an early front-runner in 2012 before faltering in a televised debate, when he couldn't remember the third of three government agencies he found -- vowed to shut down.
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perry also makes history as the first presidential hopeful of the two main parties to run while under criminal indictment. governor perry faces abuse of power and coercion charges for cutting off funding to a county prosecutor who refused his calls to resign. democratic frontrunner hillary clinton has criticized republicans for voter suppression efforts nationwide. speaking in texas, clinton called for reforms to make it easier for young people and people of color to cast their ballots. >> today republicans are systematically and deliberately trying to stop millions of american citizens from voting. what part of democracy are they afraid of? i believe every citizen has the right to vote, and i believe we should do everything we can to make it easier for every citizen to vote.
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amy: colombian authorities have released a suspect in an attack on a prominent journalist jineth bedoya lima. in 2000, bedoya lima was kidnapped, tortured and raped by a paramilitary group while she reported on the arms trade. the freed suspect, paramilitary fighter alejandro cárdenas orozco, confessed to taking part, but later retracted. bedoya plans to appeal for orozco's re-arrest, saying "my heart is hurting but my dignity is intact." a new report says the red cross has squandered millions of dollars in donations for haiti after the 2010 earthquake. according to pro republica and npr, the red cross raised about $500 million, but managed to build just six permanent homes. the group had falsely claimed to have provided homes to 130,000 people. some of the money was diverted to boost employee salaries and may have been used to wipe off
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tens of millions of dollars in red cross debt. organizers say the nation's first student debt strike has grown. almost 200 students have refused to pay back loans they took out to attend schools in the for-profit corinthian colleges system, which has been sued by the federal government for its predatory lending. now more than 1200 students have threatened to join the strike unless the department of education orders the cancellation of the strikers' debts. employees of the new york city-based gawker media have overwhelmingly voted to unionize. gawker becomes the first major digital outlet to form a union. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, the war and peace report. i am amy goodman. we are broadcasting from stanford university in california. california, a state that is now in its fourth straight year of drought.
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this week new mandatory water restrictions went into effect, with residents required to cut back water use by a net total of 25%. just thursday, the u.s. drought monitor said a wet may that led to greener pastures in some areas failed to bring any relief and "the sprouting of grasses will most likely provide extra fuel for early fall wildfires once the vegetation dies off this summer." meanwhile, a new study by the university of california, davis finds that in 2015 alone, the drought will cost the state's farmers and agricultural industry $2.7 billion and more than 18,000 jobs. the study noted -- "the socioeconomic impacts of an extended drought, in 2016 and beyond, could be much more severe." all this comes as the death toll from an ongoing heat wave in india has topped 2300, making it the fifth deadliest in recorded history.
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india's earth sciences minister, harsh vardhan, said -- "it's not just an unusually hot summer, it is climate change." well, for more, we're joined by two guests. noah diffenbaugh is a senior fellow at the stanford woods institute for the environment and an associate professor here at stanford university in environmental earth system science. he recently published a study that found a link between global warming and california's historic drought. also joining us is mark jacobson, professor of civil and environmental engineering at stanford and the director of its atmosphere/energy program. mark jacobson is also the co-founder of the solutions project, which combines science, business and culture to develop and implement science based clean-energy plans for states and countries. we're going to talk about what those plans are for all 50 states. but first noah diffenbaugh, the
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connection between the drought and climate change. >> so we know that climate change can influence drought in a number of ways, and drought is important to keep in mind is really the effective moisture available. when people think of drought, they think of how much is it raining. really it is the effect of moisture. heat in the atmosphere can really affect that, how much moisture is available for crops, how much is available for reservoirs and in snowpack. it does so in a few ways. it draws water out of soils. the hotter it is, the more evaporation or will be more we will see from plants. the u.s. drought monitor and the weirs in the long-term effects over this drought of high temperatures. it also affects snow. in california, about one third of our water storage is reliant on snowpack is a natural reservoir. we don't have the concrete reservoirs to store enough water
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that california needs. we rely on that snowpack. the hotter it is, the more precipitation falls as rain rather than snow and the snow that does fall melts earlier in the year. and we are seeing those in california in this drought. when we look over the long-term history of california, we're seeing increasing occurrence of years in which there is both low rainfall and high temperature. and that is when we know we have an elevated risk of drought. amy: have you ever seen anything like this before? >> i was born in 1974, so i was alive in the much remembered 1976-1977 drought. something that is interesting, a lot of our climate indicators show that this drought is more severe than any drought that is happened in california's recorded history. 120 years of recorded history, this is the most severe drought. a lot of people talk about population growth and development in california and
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how these have been really large over the last 30 or 40 years but interestingly statewide, our water use is pretty similar now compared to 1976-1977. we have become much more efficient and using water in california. we have a much larger population, but our total wash the -- water usage is pretty similar. it really is this is a more severe drought from a climate perspective. amy: mark jacobson can you talk about the drop in california and his record number of deaths in india? 2300 people in the latest heatwave. >> well, there are a lot of impacts of climate change or what we call global warming. global warming is really the increase in average temperatures over the whole globe. someplace you get lower temperatures on average, but in more places, you will get higher tipsters, more extreme events. mostly because the average
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temperature is higher, the extremes are mostly in the mormon direction. you're going to get some places where you will have much higher temperatures than you will normally get. and in some of these places, you have greater heat waves and more deaths as a result. or you will have more drought as well. in some places, you do get cool temperatures so as some people who don't believe in global warming or climate change will say, why is it cold outside if there's global warming occurring? that is because you're looking at the average over the globe when you're talking about global warming, see you do get both lower temperatures and higher temperatures, but more cases of higher temperatures. these higher temperatures will result in greater heat stress on people. another source of mortality is enhanced their pollution. higher temperatures on average increase air pollution, but particularly where the air pollution is a pretty bad. that is another source of
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mortality. another source is greater extreme store minas. you will get greater extremes in severe weather such as more intense hurricanes, for example. and because just like hurricanes are driven by warmer sea service temperatures and ocean temperatures are warmer on average over the globe so you will get greater intensity of the hurricanes. not necessarily greater number. amy: what do you say, either view, to senator inhof it takes a snowball and brings it onto the floor of the senate and says, do you call this global warming? >> this is a question about risk. we are seeing that in california. one example is our drought. when we look at the 120 years of observed record in california, what we see is to mature goes up, temperature goes down precipitation goes up and pursue petition goes down. drought indicators go up and they go down. what we see clearly is there is
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a much higher risk of drought when temperatures are high. it takes low precipitation, but if that low precipitation coincides with warm temperatures, the risk that low precipitation produces drought is about twice as high compared to cooler temperatures. what we have seen is california has gotten warmer and warmer and warmer. we have gone from a regime knew -- in which about half the years we are warm and happy years we are cool, half years we are wet and half we are dry. over the last two decades, 80% of the years have been warm. that means we've seen twice as many drought years. we have seen double the percentage of low precipitation years but in a producing drought. that is really risk. that is about the probabilities. when we talk about the fingerprints of climate change onyx jim events, we're really talking about risk. what is the probability these extreme events occur. amy: do you see this as a one
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off event in california, the drought, if it can be dealt with now? >> our research shows very clearly the conditions that are producing this drought are becoming much more probable. we see that in the historical record, the conditions are becoming more likely an historical record. we also see it when we look at climate model experience -- experiments. we can talk about that if you want. we would love to run experiments like you can in a petri --, but we're not able to do that. we use climate models. we are already on the cusp of really experiencing these kinds of conditions much more frequently. even the united nations target of two degrees celsius that we have heard discussed in copenhagen and in the run-up to paris this fall, even at that two degrees level of global warming, california is likely to be in a regime where year after year we are experiencing very
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warm or severely hot conditions. what that means is that we have a much higher risk that when there is low precipitation that it is also going to be hot. that is exactly what we are experiencing in this drought. amy: talk about, mark jacobs, india. when we talk about hot. what are the temperatures we are talking about? >> well, we look at it in terms of degrees celsius, but in fahrenheit, the temperatures can get up to an extreme heat of two over 100 degrees fahrenheit for significant time. so it is sustained over a period of time that is a problem. if you just have one day of hot weather, it is not when a cause a problem. many days in a row can increase mortality and people most affected are already weak. the elderly and those who are sick or otherwise weak or have illness. the temperatures have been
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sustained over periods of time and this is the main problem we will find in any place where you are impacted -- other places impacted are like sub-saharan africa where you will have extreme heat events where people already are on the verge of severe weather and then you just increase the temperature a little bit and that causes a huge mortality as a result. amy: a lot of politicians who are climate deniers say, this has been going on for a very longtime. in 2013, you published a report that found climate change is on pace to occur 10 times faster than any change recorded in what, 65 million years? >> you were looking at global scale temperature change. we were looking at global warming and the rate of global warming if we look at the two degrees target the united nations is putting forward, if
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we look at four degrees celsius which is where we are likely to end up if we continue along the emissions trajectory that we have been on as a globe. so for degrees in 100 years, we can look at the historical record would geologists look back at the sediments in the ocean and the rock record on land, look at fossils. what they find is there certainly have been periods where there have been for degrees of warming or 10 degrees of cooling, but these of happen over very long periods. the most rapid warming that has been seen since the extinction of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago was a period about 55 million years ago. there was four or five degrees forming, but it looked it happened in about 10,000 years. so we're talking about doing it in a century what earth has done in thousands of years. and that is really the big difference for the global scale. we know looking back at that period, it was a very different
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climate. the were alligators and palm trees inside the arctic circle. the palm trees kept up because they 10,000 years to do it. the alligators kept up. we're talking about ice-free arctic with the temperatures that look a lot like close to -- coastal florida. amy: say that again? >> the last time we saw this for degrees warming, it happened over thousands of years. it created a very different climate. if we look at the arctic ocean we know it was at least seasonally ice-free. no summer ice in the arctic. in geologists reconstruct those temperatures using the chemistry and looking at the fossils that were of the plants that were there, they see it looks a lot like coastal florida does now. so people who say earth has been through this before, they are right in terms of the magnitude of change, but the big
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difference is how rapid that change was. we know from looking at those periods in the past, the climate was really, really different. we are not saying earth hasn't experienced, change before. what we're saying is we are very strong evidence that what we're seeing now is due primarily to human activities and that the pace of change is much more rapid than what ecosystems have been exposed to in recent geologic past. amy: we're going to go to break. when we come back, we want to talk about solutions, what is possible. our guest or two, scientists year at stanford university, noah diffenbaugh and mark jacobson. after we finished speaking to them, we're going to barcelona, spain, for an exclusive blog -- broadcast interview with the mayor elect of barcelona, a leading anti-eviction housing activist who will be the first female mayor of that spanish
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city. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: "who's gonna stand up and save the earth?" neil young. this is democracy now!, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we are broadcasting from stanford university here in california. we're looking at the climate scientist to save the world. we have to in our studio today. mark jacobson is professor of
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civil and environment and at stanford university, director of its atmospheric energy program. professor jacobson is also the co-founder of the solutions project. that is what we're going to talk about next, solutions. noah diffenbaugh is a senior fellow at the stanford woods institute for the environment and an associate professor in environmental earth system science. so let's go back to april when telephoning governor jerry brown ordered residents to cut their water use by 25%. >> we're in an historic drought and that amounts -- demands unprecedented action. for that reason, i'm issuing an executive order mandating substantial water reduction across our state. as californians, we have to pull together and save water in every way we can. people should realize we're in a new era. the idea of your nice little green grass getting lots of water every day, that is going
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to be a thing of the past. amy: when governor brown announced new water restrictions for california, he acknowledged the role of global warming saying -- "the reality is that climate is getting warmer, the weather is getting more extreme and unpredictable, and we have to become more resilient, more efficient, and more innovative." i want to turn to comments from president obama when he visited california last year to announce new federal aid to help the drought-stricken state. >> scientists will debate whether a particular storm or drought reflects patterns of climate change, but one thing that is undeniable is that changing temperatures influenced route in at least three ways. number one, more rain falls in extreme downpours. so more water is lost to run off been captured for use. number two, more precipitation in the mountains falls as rain rather than snow, so rivers run dry earlier in the year.
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number three, soil and reservoirs lose more water to evaporation your round -- year round. what does all of this mean? unless and until we do more to combat carbon pollution that causes climate change, this trend will get worse. amy: that is president obama saying we need to do more. professor mark jacobson, you have just released a state-by-state plan for what needs to be done. what needs to be done? >> our plans are to change the energy infrastructure each and every state in the united states , and in fact, ultimately, every country of the world, to infrastructures run entirely on wind, water, and solar power for all purposes. that is electricity transportation heating and cooling. right now, we're being powered by nuclear.
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the emissions associated with burning of the fuels primarily from a burning of fossil fuels and biofuels, these are causing both evolution and global warming. these are almost entirely the cause of both of these problems. there pollution causes 4 million to 7 million premature deaths every year worldwide including about 62000 and the united states in about 12,000 in california. global warming is a growing and rising problem. in terms of cost, the air pollution mortality in the united states alone costs the united states about $500 billion per year or 3% of the gdp of the u.s. in 2050, it is estimated the u.s. emissions alone will cost $3.320 in global climate image and the rest of the world, about 15 trillion dollars per year. so we're trying -- the only way to solve this problem is to
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change the energy infrastructure, to electrify everything, pretty much, and produce that electricity from clean energy such as wind, water, solar power. amy: how do you do that? >> and our plan, we do a state-by-state. we first develop a plan. we say, this is how many solar panels we need, how much rooftop areas do we have, how much land area do we require, what would be the cost, how much storage do we need? how many jobs would be created as result? in the united states, it would create about 2 million jobs to do such a transformation. once we have developed a plan then we educate the public about the plans, educate policymakers, and hope that people will then take these plans and run with them and exley start implement in these changes. amy: i want to go through some different states. but california lawmakers have first, just approved a dozen ambitious environmental and energy bills creating new standards for energy efficiency. dubbed the california climate leadership package, the 12 bills
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set high benchmarks for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and petroleum use. state senate leader kevin de leon explained one of the cornerstones of the program, sb 350, which calls for a "50-50-50" reduction in major areas of climate concern. >> now is the time to keep the momentum going. cleantech companies in california are creating more jobs and are investing more money than competitors in any other state -- then in any other state. we need to pursue policies that build on this economic growth by strengthening incentives for energy efficiency and clean technology. the golden state standards, 50% less petroleum use 50% of electricity coming from renewable sources, and 50% better energy efficiency and our buildings. amy: that a senate leader kevin de leon. mark jacobson what needs to
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happen in california, then go across the country where i just came from, new york, and talk about what needs to happen there. >> california actually, a lot has been happening. governor brown in january announced the state will go 50% renewable, mostly went, water and solar power, by 2030. we have proposed 80% by 2030 conversion and 100% by 2050. so governor brown, his proposal for 50% by 2030 six to percent of what we think is needed. but the senate of california just within the last two days actually advanced the proposal and approved a 50% by 2030 conversion for most sectors of the energy economy. but we need really aggressive measures. we can't just have small changes. there are changes going on. right now, i will, south dakota, that 30% almost of all of their electric tower from wind.
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but we need to change not only electricity, but transportation, heating and cooling industry and electricity is only on the order of 20% of total energy anywhere. but states are making progress. new york has made progress by implementing some policies that would get us toward -- closer to renewable economy. there are some states like washington state that already have like 73% of their electricity is already from clean energy, mostly because they have a lot of hydroelectric. we need much more aggressive measures because the arctic cia's is expected to disappear within 10 to 30 years and that would cause acceleration for climate change. we can't wait 20 years for some new energy technologies to come around. we need use existing technologies today, implement them, and get the ball rolling in terms of the transition. amy: people still raise their out brawls we windmills, when you say solar panels, these are the solution. >> oh, yeah. there are all sorts of false
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beliefs about renewable energy but things have changed. wind right now is not only one of the dust between wind and solar, the fastest-growing source of electric power, but wind is the cheapest form of electricity by far in the u.s. today. the unsubsidized cost without the subsidies is about 3.7 cents to five cents per kilowatt hour. subsidies are another 1.5 cents to drop those costs per kilowatt hour. that compares with natural gas which is six cents to eight cents per kilowatt hour. wind is one half the cost of natural gas. utility scale solar is about the same. unsubsidized. amy: mark, i want to turn to a cartoon that you were recently featured in called tommy tune -- tommy time, which seeks to raise awareness about noble energy. in this clip, tommy, played by mark ruffalo, asks you what your home is still the one on the block that withstood a power
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outage. quotes magic man, why are your lights the only ones on on the block? >> drawing power from my solar backyard winter that is stored in batteries. it is powered by wind, water and son. amy: there you have it. explain what you were telling tommy time. >> people today can control her own power in their own homes. you can put solar panels -- wind turbines may be only in a few locations, but you can combine solar panels in your roof top with batteries and tesla has a new battery pack you can put in your garage that -- where you can store electricity during the day that from the solar, then use it -- use of electricity
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when there are people come to electricity because that is when the price is much higher. people can weatherize their home, he's energy efficient appliances. there are lots of things people can do to reduce energy use and go towards 100% renewable energy. using heat pumps instead of gas heaters. electric cars instead of gasoline cars. amy: what have you done at home? >> itself, i did electrify my entire home starting in 2005, i put solar panels on the roof, got an electric car, switched out the gas heaters for water and air for electric heat pumps and also then got energy efficiencyt appliances. i try to do what i talk about. since 2005 between 2000 5-2013 i never paid an electricity bill. when i got an electric car, and never paid for gas.
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amy: what is the simplest way for people to do it at home and people who live in apartment buildings? >> well, anybody can use inergy efficient levels appliances weatherize their homes. for solar use to be more expensive now for rooftops, now the prices go down, but 80% of solar right now is least will stop you don't have to put upfront cost, you just pay like you do not to city bill for solar. amy: you're pushing for renewables, getting off also fuel. what do you think of the development movement? stanford university just announced it is divesting from coal coming from enormous pressure from especially students. there's a movement across the country and around the world right now on this issue. i was just a camera to university, oxford students and professors as well. >> divestment is one way to do a transition. there a lot of policy options that are possible and the
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vastment's were universities and also companies or individuals will take money out of fossil fuels and maybe shift them to clean the renewable energy sources. that will help in the transition. we don't advocate specific policies, but that is certainly one that would be effective to some degree. amy: i want to play the comment of pennsylvania's former senator rick santorum who launched the second bed for the republican presidential nomination. santorum told cnn host michael smerconish he recognizes the climate is warming, but questioned whether humans were causing it, or whether to take action to address it. >> is or anything the united states can do about it? clearly, no. even folks who accept all of the science by the alarmists on the other side recognize that everything that is being considered by the united states will have -- not almost, will have zero impact on it given what is going on.
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>> is your answer, do nothing? >> the answer is, do something. if it has no impact, of course do nothing. what would you do something with people admitting that even if you do something, it won't make a difference? amy: that is one of the republican presidential hopefuls, rick santorum. noah diffenbaugh, as we wrap up, what is your answer to him? he says do nothing, it's not when a make a difference. >> the thing about the climate system, it is connected globally. we have asked, what of the developed world, what of the eu and u.s. did nothing? and the rest of the world looks like guess? what if the rest of the world, we had a world of 9 billion people that looked like me? what that means for the rest of the u.s. is, what used to be the hottest summer that anyone ever experienced happened 75% of the time. so we are tremendously exposed to what happens around the world. it is true the skill of the problem is enormous. and the kinds of innovations that mark is talking about in
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his home and the kind of innovations here at stanford in california, that is what we need in order to radiate out to the whole world in order to make this transition. if we don't make this transition, we're going to have a lot of climate change. amy: i want to thank you both for being with us, noah diffenbaugh mark jacobson and both climate scientists here at stanford university. we will continue to follow your work and link to your reports. this is democracy now! when we come back, the first female mayor of barcelona. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we are broadcasting from stanford university in california. we end today's show in spain where a longtime anti-eviction activist has just been elected
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mayor of barcelona becoming the city's first female mayor. ada colau co-founded the anti-eviction group platform for people affected by mortgages and was an active member of the indignados, or 15-m movement. the protest movement that inspired occupy wall street. colau has vowed to fine banks with empty homes on their books, stop evictions, expand public housing, set a minimum monthly wage of $670, force utility companies to lower prices, and slash the mayoral salary. colau enjoyed support from the podemos party, which grew out of the indignados movement that began occupying squares in spain four years ago. she has been arrested repeatedly for her protests. i spoke to ada colau last week. i began by asking if she was surprised by her victory. >> thank you very much. amy: really surprised by your victory -- were you surprised by your victory? >> in reality, partly yes and
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partly know. it was a victory that was accomplished in a very short amount of time. it was a candidacy supported and driven by the people with very few resources and very little money we achieved victory in the elections of such an important city, barcelona. the partly was not surprising because there is a strong popular movement and a strong desire for change. we have serious political problems in barcelona and in the entire country. there was a need for change, which you could see in the streets. amy: can you talk about what those problems are? >> there are problems related to the economic crisis, but this economic crisis is a consequence of a political crisis, of a profound democratic crisis. we have had a form of government or the political elites had a cozy relationship with the economic elite have read the economy of the country and the ultimate representation of this was the behavior of the financial institutions of the banks. they defrauded thousands and thousands of people with abusive mortgages.
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they have evicted thousands of families and ruined the country's economy. this has happened because of the cozy relationship between the political and economic elite. in the face of the situation with her heavy losses of billions of euros that have caused social cutbacks in areas as basic as health care and education, it is cause for example in a city rich like barcelona and the city where there is a lot of money and resources, the inequality has shot up. that means there are people that are getting more and more rich at the same time, more people are getting poorer. so the middle class is disappearing. amy:, two years ago you testified at a spanish hearing on closure crisis. you spoke right after a representative of's and banking industry. you famously turned to the banker and said, "this man is a criminal and should be treated like one. >> we have been negotiating for four years with the banks, with the public and administration, with the courts and therefore we know exactly what we're talking about.
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this leads me to question the voices of the suppose it experts who precisely are the ones being given too much credit pardon the irony. such as were presented at a financial institutions. we just had an example. i was a the least it was paradoxical, dz euphemism. if not outright cynical. for them telling us the spanish legislation looked great. to say that when people are taking their own lives because of the criminal law. i assure you i assure you i did not throw a shoe at this man because i believed it was important to be here now to tell you what i am telling you. that this man is a criminal. and you should treat him as such. he is not an expert. the representatives of financial institutions have caused this problem. they're the very same people who caused the problem which has ruined the whole economy of this country, and you are treating these people as experts. amy: that is, ada colau.
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the speech made lawmakers john strauch. you got a reprimand from the apartment, but your speech and your deep to millions of spaniards. can you talk about that moment that you decided to speak out and did you have any regrets? >> well, the reality is that i wanted to speak in front of the parliament after many years of housing rights activism and working closely with the thousands of families that were affected by the mortgage fraud which the banks a committed and by the evictions i came after that. the evictions and interest rates have literally destroyed the lives of thousands of families. and by the destroyed lives, it is cause depression, diseases, even suicide. i described what i knew and what i've been living on the front lines for many years. when i encounter this banker who deny the reality and said there were no problems in spain when there were thousands of families in dire situations, the least i could do was to announce these lies and talk to them about what
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was happening in reality. i think was surprised people more and what generated a media phenomenon after this appearance was that someone was talking about reality inside parliament because sadly, this is something that had not happened in a long time. in spain, you have a paradox that while the corrupt politicians see the statute of limitations for their crimes lapse and they make off without going to jail, the families who got into debt for something as basic as accessing housing become indebted forever because it is impossible to forgive this debt. in the face of this barbarity, what happens that hundreds of thousands of hard-working families who just wanted to have a normal life suddenly lose their jobs, they lose their house, and they become indebted for life. and becoming indebted meet economic and civil debt. this leads to people committing suicide want to diseases, to broken families. and the positive aspect was the birth of an exemplary people's
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movement, which has succeeded in stopping thousands of evictions. that forced the banks to negotiate. and it showed is our institutions do not resolve this problem, it was because our institutions were a compass is in this fraud. -- accomplices in this fraud. amy: ada colau you have broken through so many ceilings as the first woman mayor of barcelona together with the new mayor of madrid -- in your victory speech, you talked about a democratic revolution all over the south of europe. can you start their? what do you mean? >> what is happening in spain and barcelona is not an isolated event, rather there is a crisis in the way we do politics.
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there's a political elite which has become corrupt and ended up as a compass is a financial power which only seeks to make money even at the expense of rising inequality and the impoverishment of the majority of the people. fortunately, there's been a popular reaction here and other parts of the mediterranean, for example, greece, to confront the neoliberal economic policies which are not only a problem in spain, but europe and around the world. we see very clearly the city councils are key to confront -- confronting this way of making policy, meaning that is were the everyday policies are made and where we can prove there is another way to govern, more inclusive, working together with the people, more than just asking them to vote every four years. and you can fight against corruption and have transparent institutions. so we think a city governments are keeper democratic revolution to begin governing with the people in a new way, but on the other hand, we are very aware the real change must be global. at one city alone cannot solve all the problems we are facing. many of which are global because
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today, the economy does not have borders. the big capital and the markets move freely around the world, unlike people. amy: ada colau, what would a public planking system look like -- banking system look like? >> i think in the financial world, there's been a problem with absolute rule. you cannot leave something as important as economic policy and money which has a social function, in the hands of speculation and private interest. here there's been a democratic deficit and lack of global collective and democratic control over money and the economic system in general. so we have to take back that democratic control. that doesn't mean all the banks have to be public. it could be in limited in different ways. we need laws that make private banks comply with the law. now in spain where the banking system that breaks the law systematically and nothing happens.
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for us the people, they don't forgive anything. they make us pay all our debts pay all our taxes. they don't forgive anything. but the big banks which have lied, defrauded and destroyed thousands of families are forgiven for breaking the european consumer protection regulation, for example. this is unacceptable. the first thing we need is governments to observe their people, not the private interest, and enforce the law. we're talking is something as basic as enforcing the existing law. we need financial power to comply with the law and obey the democratic powers. something that is not happening now. it is also true you would be good if this private financial power is complemented by some form of public tank that offsets and currencies there is financing for what is in the public interest. if not, what happens is the private financial system has the power to decide what is funded and what is not funded. amy: ada colau, what of the most
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tweeted photos in spain shows riot police hone you away. the images from july 2013 when you are trying to occupy a barcelona bank that was foreclosing on homes. the caption added by twitter users reads -- welcome new mayor. can you talk about that moment when you were being dragged away? >> well, there were many similar moments in the past years. when we have unjust laws like the ones we have now in spain one has to massively disobey these unjust laws to defend human rights. here the rights of housing is being infringed upon, and that is why thousands of people in a peaceful manner have had to practice civil disobedience to defend human rights. this action was one of the many performed in this country. and not by me, but by many other people who have been defending the human rights of others. throughout human history, it is happen this way in order to defend rights and to win rights, many times it has been necessary to do so they unjust laws.
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so of course now is future mayor of barcelona hope the police will be at the service of human rights and not the banks. amy: in the u.s., there is occupy -- you are part of the igdignados. talk about the different protests from antiwar to enter corporate -- anticorporate globalization that have shaped you. >> in reality, there's been a continuity in the past 15 years at least. in the early two thousands late 1990's when they begin the anti-globalization and, seattle, there was a wide cycle protest that began the continues to the present day. during this time, there's been the anti-globalization movement international antiwar movement the igdignados, many fights for housing rights, for peace. all of these mobilizations, not only here but on the global level, have had many things in common. first, the global dimension.
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the awareness that our political and economic problems that have a global dimension, so we need to work as a network. because there is a single global and economic reality. it is essential to work in alliances. also the necessity for a real democracy. the awareness that even if we have formally democratic institutions, we have the since the decisions are not being made in parliament but by the boards of directors or by international institutions such as the imf, the world bank, which of her family anti-democratic in which the people do not control and they also make decisions against their own people generating misery around the world. this awareness of the kidnapped democracy has led to the rise of many grassroots mobilizations propelled from the bottom by the people, which are also seeking a way of direct representation. they have seen formal democracy
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is not enough, that we need to find new ways of political participation where everyone can be an actor and each person can directly contribute as much as each person can contribute. so i think all of these mobilizations that have happened in the past 15 years that of also increasingly used new technologies, the internet social media, that i pursued new forms of innovative and direct communication and some way we're seeing an upgrade of democracy, an upgrade of the forms of political participation that it had many different expressions and different global movements, but rarely there is a nexus that unites them all. -- but clearly there is a neck says that unites them all. amy: ada colau you are the first woman mayor of barcelona spain, a woman, and activist. also a female activist is now going to be the madrid mayor. talk about the significance of this. >> without a doubt, it is
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important because with women making up half the population, it is completely inexplicable that in 40 years of formal democracy, i should be the first woman mayor of this city. this is not normal because women, we built this city, and we are key players in the city. but what has happened is this is not transferred to political representation in the decision-making positions. we live in a sexist society. this is not a problem exclusive to barcelona or spain. unfortunately, it is a global problem. i think what is happening now are signs of change. the right thing one the men and women before us, and we, women take this testimony and keep moving forward. it is clear that women are overrepresented in the sectors of care and housework, and the time has come for women to have more representation and places of economic and political power. but i think we have something
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more to contribute and that we can learn from the feminist struggles. in this moment of change that we are in, we can contribute by feminizing politics. this will not happen just by putting more women in decision-making roles, but also by transforming the values more than anything and buy in this bone of change, upgrading forms of political dissipation to do mr. the cooperation is more effective and satisfactory than competitiveness and that politician -- politics done relatively are better than individually. i think it's collective eyes of solidarity we can feminize politics and with that, not just women will win, but women and men both will win. >> what do think your victory means for podemos possibly winning and the national level later this year?
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>> i think of political change is happening, change in the way politics are done in spain but also beyond spain and southern europe and we hope and all of europe. i think what happened in spain as a democratic revolution. the people have been empowered and they have spoken. that is why think the main player here is not any political group, it is not barcelona, it is not podemos, not ada colau not public iglesias. the main players are the people. the people who decided to take back institutions that democratize them, to take back politics of people can be the real players and the ones who make the decisions. in this movement of democratic revolution there are different political parties, different acronyms which must be a troll in the process of empowerment and democratic revolution. this is why podemos iglesias, ada colau, another parties that are emerging right now i just instruments at the service of a wide process that has decided to take act the institutions for the people.
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-- take back the institutions for the people. amy: ada colau, finally, what will be your first act in office as the new mayor of barcelona? >> well, we have developed an emergency plan that includes 30 measures which are viable. and dishes, but for -- ambitious, but perfectly viable for the first month in office. this emergency plan has three main areas. first, create jobs to fight against job insecurity. another, guarantee basic rights. the others to fight actively against corruption want to make city hall more transparent and do away with the privileges. for example, lower the salaries of public officials elected officials will stop eliminate privileges like paid expenses things that can seem simple but are symbolically important because they send the message of
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ending impunity, of the end of a political classroom moved from the people. -- political class removed from the people. so to do away with his privileges is something we can to immediately come as soon as we take office. it depends only on political will. without a doubt, one of the first of says mayor will be to publicly convene all of the banks that work in the city and sent them around the negotiating table in order to stop the evictions and assay we need the empty homes they have in the city -- in the city. amy: ada colau, thanked for joining us, congratulations as the first woman mayor of barcelona comes in. thank you. >> thank you very much. amy: barcelona mayor ada colau. we will be airing the original interview in spanish on
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